BSCTC HOLDS COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIESBig Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) held its commencement ceremonies on May 8-9 at the Mountain Arts Center.
Dr. Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), was the keynote speaker for the commencement ceremony on Friday, May 8.
You come from all walks of life; you have overcome obstacles; your goals and professions vary, but tonight you are unified and share one distinct commonality being called a college graduate, said Box. Many of you will be staying right here in eastern Kentucky, where you will contribute greatly to this community. I challenge you to enhance this beautiful place you call home through your leadership and contributions to the economy.
This year, more than 7,100 students across the state earned more than 14,000 credentials. At BSCTC, 520 students earned degrees and the college awarded 1,582 credentials. Since 2008, more than 21,000 first-generation college students have enrolled at BSCTC.
Zane Mahue, president of the Student Government Association and student representative of the BSCTC board of directors, spoke to graduates about how the college helped him find his direction in life.
When I came to eastern Kentucky, I didnt know what to expect. I had some preconceived notions about the mountains, and they were all wrong, said Mahue, who is from Massachusetts. This community and this college has embraced me and I am full of gratitude. I have witnessed so many students find their calling in life because of this college, and we are all intertwined in this journey called life.
Jennifer Reynolds, of State Farm Insurance of Pikeville, was presented the Faculty Service Award for her support of the Big Sandy Idol program.
Professor Tammy Ball, coordinator of the Human Services program, and Laura Ford Hall, associate professor of communications, were honored the Great Teacher Award.
Phillip Elliott, senior vice president and chief financial officer of First Commonwealth Bank, and Justin Trout, owner of Eastern Air Flow, were the recipients of the Outstanding Alumni Award during the May 8 ceremony. Kara Baker, dental hygienist at Barnhill Pediatric Dentistry; and Sharon Branham, retired nurse and author were also recognized on May 9.
During the May 9 commencement, Leshia Howard was the recipient of the Nightingale Award for Clinical Excellence for the Associate Degree Nursing program. Breanna Hunley was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement award.
For the Licensed Practical Nursing program, Brittany Tackett won the Nightingale Award for Clinical Excellence and Lakin Jackson was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement award.
Shelby Neeley was awarded the Colgate Star Award from Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator Dr. Eric Dixon. Jessie Cook and Billie Lowery were presented the Golden Scaler award.
Kaitlin Hunley and Keshia Blackburn were recognized with the Drs. Gopal and Mina Majmundar Scholarship from the Associate Degree Nursing program. Licensed Practical Nursing recipients were Jackson and Meghan Banks.
Brittany Tackett, a graduate of the Licensed Practical Nursing program, told her fellow graduates that they entered the program individuals but now leave as family.
We have been with each other during our best and our worst, she said. Together, we have discovered that we are capable of change and we have pushed each other past what we never thought was possible.
Tackett spoke of the loss of a classmate, Stephanie Anderson, earlier this year. Anderson would have graduated the Licensed Practical Nursing program.
Even though Stephanie cannot be here physically in body, I know that she is cheering us on, said Tackett. The world is just a little emptier without her and I want to just say, Steph, thank you for being a shoulder to cry on or that person to celebrate with. We love and miss you always.
Dr. Nancy B. Johnson, provost of BSCTC, ended the program by announcing Andersons name and credential. A white-draped chair and flowers were placed on stage in Andersons memory.